This “Track of the Day – HAWK” article was written by Alia Thomas, a GIGsoup contributor.
Political statements and hauntingly soulful sounds is what HAWK’s recent EP brings to the table. A nice change from songs about sex, drugs and that little thing called love that we hear so much of. The post-rock four piece from London is made up of Julie Hawk, Matt Harris, Chris Handsley and Sam Campbell, and they’re using their unique sound and controversial subject matters to open minds and inspire.
Introduce yourselves… Who are HAWK? How did you get together as a band?
Julie: Hi! We’re four friends living in North London, but none of us have London origins. We’re half west of Ireland half English actually. We kicked off as an acoustic project between myself and Matt, which became an evolving battle of wanting to make more and more noise, but having a bit of a ‘folk’ rep. Eventually we formed the full band and the project has become bigger and darker ever since. I think we all agree that with this EP we’ve finally hit a sound that represents us as a band.
You’ve got quite a unique sound. If you were to describe it in 3 words, what would those be?
Matt: Dark, spacey and evil.
Your recent songs seem to have quite a political theme running through them. ‘Once Told’ touching upon the Irish anti-abortion law and your previous release, ‘Glass’, about the same-sex marriage law having the positive go-ahead in Ireland. What led you to focus on such subjects?
Julie: Something we’ve always written about is conflict, and the idea of choice. Before Glass we had really only touched on this from an internal point of view. Bu when we were touring Ireland last year, it was amazing to see how public and heartfelt the Marriage Equality conversation had become. I found it personally very eye-opening, as I was home in a country where this kind of blatant discussion would have been unthinkable years ago. I think it really inspired us to broaden our scope in terms of subject matter, and it has probably fuelled the direction of our sound as well as the lyrics. I think we’ve grown into a band that doesn’t question whether music is a platform for social commentary. If it’s what you care about, then why not write about it?
You’ve just recently brought out your new music video for ‘Once Told’. Do you have control over your music video ideas? How did you come up with the idea for the video?
Matt: We have conceptual control over our videos and have worked very closely with James Byrne to bring the last few to life. We had played around with light and dark in the ‘Hush’ video previously but we really wanted to get the light and dark of Once Told across and the use of pace and lights seemed like the best way to do it. A lot of what is on the upcoming EP focusses on certain issues both big and small in life that seem easy to fix, but for whatever reason they are ignored or put at the bottom of a long list. So we wanted to have imagery that showed that while on the surface you may be sleepwalking through the every-day aspects of life, underneath there is tension, angst and frustration being bottled up.
What were your highlights of 2015 as a band and what are your aims and plans for HAWK in 2016?
Julie: We spent a huge amount of 2015 writing and recording, to the point that we were really missing the stage. So we had a lot to get off our chests when we finally got around to booking shows again. Other Voices Festival in Dingle was absolutely magical and our last two gigs in London were really fun – we had great crowds at both. We have plans to record very soon so we can follow up the EP with some new tracks and we are already booked in for a few festivals in the summer which we’re really looking forward to.
‘Once Told’ will be released on February 19th via Veta Records. The video, with its brilliant representation of the mixed emotions and feelings that may relate to such subject matter, has recently been released in all its artsy wonder. Check it out above and be sure to catch HAWK at a festival this Summer!